Realms of Light: Progress Report Eight

Chapter Four has now been posted.

Seven chapters are written; I’m a couple of pages into Chapter Eight. The plot is developing in ways that weren’t in my original outline, but I think it’s all to the good. I’m estimating twenty-five chapters, but that’s really just an educated guess.

(I know some writers outline everything chapter by chapter, but I don’t work that way. Never have.)

I may have been a little too pessimistic about the slow start; things are looking up. A few people have been very generous indeed, which helps.

I tweaked the colors slightly; anyone still have a problem with them?

Next chapter at: $1,200.
Current total: $1,030.

16 thoughts on “Realms of Light: Progress Report Eight

  1. The colors look better. I would favor a serif font myself, but that’s your call. I hope Captain Colby Perkins won’t have to wait too much longer for his moment in the sun. Has it been twenty years yet?

  2. Based upon mail times, even allowing for a holiday, my check should be in your post office box by about now.

    As for tuckerizing people, well, let’s say that I have been added to a a list for at least one other author and possibly two. Not to forget having already having been “killed” on a radio program by a drunken Santa Claus – with a machine gun. Or being reported dead at my place of employment (Cancer – which I survived). Or even being grouped as dead by Channel 6 in Albany, back in 1985, on the news at noon.

    Maybe you can add a contribution level to get tuckerized in one of your books? All I ask is that if I do get tuckerized that it be a different way of going than the ways I have already died….

    So, maybe I can be labeled as a zombie, as I keep coming back from the dead….

  3. Haven’t checked the post office box since Wednesday. I should get over there this afternoon.

    I auctioned off a tuckerization once, and it took fifteen years before I could make good on it because I write so few stories set in the real world and the name didn’t translate into Ethsharitic or anything. I’m therefore very reluctant to try it again.

    As for being reported as dead, I got to read my own obituary once, when someone got me confused with Karl Edward Wagner. That was a bit weird.

  4. Go back to the root then James – “The Supplanter” Eager – “Succesful with the Spear” Mycroft – “Smarter then Sherlock”

  5. You don’t understand how Ethsharitic names work; they don’t generally have root meanings the way real names do, and when they do the root meanings often don’t correspond to any real-world names. There are only a few hundred real Ethsharitic names; I have a complete list.

    This is why I don’t do this — because it doesn’t work.

    If someone named Anna Dunn wanted to be tuckerized in an Ethshar story I could do it; she’d be Anna the Dark. Mavis Brunwald I could do — Mavi of the Brown Forest. “Eager” is easy, it’d be “the Eager,” and the root source is irrelevant. “Anna” and “Mavi” and a few others are already Ethsharitic names, and the fact that they don’t mean remotely the same thing as their real-world equivalents is something I can just ignore.

    But “James” is impossible. “James” can’t even be spelled in Ethsharitic; it has impermissible phoneme combinations if I keep the English pronunciation, you can’t have a terminal consonant pair of a nasal and a sibilant after a diphthong.

    “Mycroft” would be “Maikroft,” but that’s not a name in Ethsharitic, it’s just a noise. It could be a name someone made up to avoid giving his real name, but it’s not a likely one — the rhythm’s not natural. A two-syllable Ethsharitic name wouldn’t end in “-ft,” the T would be dropped or softened to a TH.

  6. No, it is interesting, I used my name as an example, and tha tit doesn’t translate is ok. I was curious. And roots sometimes work and sometimes don’t.

    Maybe you could post and entry with the list and / or the rules of the language, it would also be interesting.

  7. So, given your previous comment about knowing “far too much about Ethsharitic linguistics,” do you have a complete, or near enough to it, dictionary of the various Ethsharitic languages, or is it more of a set of linguistic behaviors that obviates the need for a dictionary?

    Given the paucity of proper names, how does that bear on the language itself, if at all? Do people tend to simplify concepts also? I don’t recall much exploration of poets in the Ethshar stories, and that makes me wonder if flowery speech itself might be counter to the popular culture.

  8. “Paucity”?!? You think a few hundred is “paucity”? You aren’t very familiar with most real-world cultures if you think that’s a paucity. Republican Rome only had twenty-one legal first names; they had an elaborate system of nicknames as a result, not to mention requiring males to have both clan and family names to help increase variety.

    Consider England a couple of centuries back — remove everyone named Mary, George, James, or William and half the population’s gone.

    There are plenty of cultures around today where only a few dozen names are in use. America is weird because we have such a cultural mix from our immigrant history.

    Anyway, I don’t have a complete dictionary, no; I just know the rules of grammar and phonetics for each language I’ve developed. Ethsharitic is structurally somewhat different from English, with a smaller vocabulary, but that puts it on a par with French or Spanish or Chinese, it hardly makes poetry difficult. You don’t hear much about poetry for purely cultural, rather than linguistic, reasons — Ethshar doesn’t take the art of poetry very seriously. There are song lyrics, and you’ve seen references to some. There’s humorous verse. Poetry qua poetry, though, is not something that interests your average Ethsharite.

    For one thing, remember, words have power, and magic is dangerous — stringing together elegant, sonorous phrases has a chance of conjuring up a demon, which is not something most people want to risk. The idea of doing something that may let a creature from the Nethervoid eat your face, and doing it purely as a work of art, does not have wide appeal.

    So poetry is left to magicians and singers and humorists. There are no serious poets.

    As for flowery speech, they’re a pragmatic people, but it’s also probably partly how I translate it into English. One thing I noticed when I learned a (very) little Chinese is how deceptive some of the traditional translations have been — you’ll get a name like “the Greater Portal of Heavenly Peace,” when it would be just as accurate to translate the Chinese as “the Big Sky Peace Gate.” Westerners tend to have the idea that traditional Chinese is very flowery and ornate, but that’s entirely an artifact of how it’s been translated.

  9. The idea of accidentally summoning entities through poetry sounds like it has potential—say, a mother composing nursery rhymes could wind up with a cross between Fendel’s Assassin and a spriggan, an annoying creature that won’t go away until it accomplishes a specific task. And of course she would have no idea what that task is.

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